Sandiacre Town slumped to their sixth defeat of the campaign at Chesterfield who completed a comfortable five wicket win to ease their own relegation worries.
Only a month or so ago Sandiacre were hot on the heels of champions-elect Swarkestone but now find themselves languishing in sixth place and some 99 points off the pace.
Batting first, Sandiacre openers James Chapman (23) and Curtley Read (36) began well and put on 51 for the first wicket before Johny Marsden (3-34) evened-up the contest with a couple of quick wickets.
The trend was now set, despite the best efforts of Ollie Uffindall (25) and two strikes from Wes Durston (2-50), and a further wicket for Marsden, saw the visitors slip to a shaky 110 for 5.
Ross Whiteley (3-43) entered the fray and Sandiacre stuttered to 149 for 8 but Dan Wheeldon (38) and Ben Ruhrmund (15*) hit back and the visitors managed to reach a fairly respectable 195 before Brian Gladwin claimed the final wicket.
After tea, Ben Slater (25) and Mykylo Bird (44) eased the reply along to 49 until a John Jordison run out saw the end of the former and his demise was quickly followed by that of Wes Durston without addition to the score.
Jordison was the bowler but Chesterfield regrouped through Bird and Whiteley (42) who added 66 for the third wicket during 20 steady overs.
Bird fell to Uffindall in the 30th over with the score on 115 and only four more runs were added before Whiteley’s knock was ended by Jono Clare.
Sandiacre were back in the match with the hosts on 119 for 4 but a timely stand of 47 between Paul Burdett (32) and Simon Lacey (26*) left the hosts needing only another 30 runs with nine overs remaining.
They needed only five of them, Matt Higginbottom (17*) joining Lacey to see his side home at the end of the 48th over.
There was more disappointment for Sandiacre on Sunday in the East Midlands Area Final of the National Club T20 Cup at Cuckney.
The home side batted first and made 142-7 from their 20 overs, Ollie Uffindall and Dan Wheeldon taking two wickets each with Nick Langford’s 48 the best innings.
But Sandiacre were all out for just 98 in the 18th over, only Uffindall (27) and Wheeldon (29*) making double figures.
With the second XI out of action, Sandiacre’s thirds had to make do with a losing draw at Alfreton on Saturday.
The home side batted well to make 235-3 from their 46 overs, Jake Simpson’s century (102) and Christian Pratt’s 73 doing most of the damage, Ashley Brown removing both.
Sandiacre progressed to 182-7 in reply before time ran out.
They mostly had the lower order to thank, particularly Matthew Pavis (41 not out) and Gareth Davis (35) as they held firm to take a share of the honours.